Here's a joke for you:


Laughter is the best medicine!

Unless you're treating diarrhea.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It’s all about the delivery

Isn’t delivery the same as timing? No! Pay attention! Timing is how fast or slowly you pace your joke, and when and how quickly you get to the punchline.

Delivery is about HOW you tell your joke.

A joke that tells a ridiculous story is funnier if you tell it as if the story was the most normal, believable thing in the world.

A joke that contains wild elements can be more fun if you tell it calmly, or maybe it will be more fun if you tell it more wildly than is necessary. A silly joke might be more fun if you tell it seriously, or wildly.

Usually, wild joke-telling with lots of laughter and zaniness is not good.

We talked in another post about punch lines. Part of delivery is to remember the point of the joke, carefully hit the important points, make sure the set-up is understood, and then drop the punch line like a bomb.

Yes, it’s possible to do this in a number of ways. You can appear zany, or serious, or matter of fact. But appear to not believe the premise of the joke yourself, the joke will fail.

A sub-section of delivery is relevance. If you’ve never been to England, and if your audience doesn’t contain any people from England, then jokes about England and English people wouldn’t be as funny.

One very important rule about delivery is this: Never, never, never announce your joke. Don’t say, “Hey everybody, I’ve got a joke to tell! Gather around and listen to me!” Just start and see who pays attention.

One of the finest skills that a talented joke teller has is the ability to share a joke at just the right moment. A lull in the conversation, a reference to a subject that relates to your joke. A lot of this skill is just knowing when it’s your turn to talk. That’s the most important part of proper delivery.
Practice that.

Jack was living in Arizona during a heat wave.
"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," complained Jack as he stepped out of the shower.
"Honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"
"Probably that I married you for your money."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are you telling us that we aren’t good at telling jokes?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. Did that hurt your feelings? Well good, it’s about time someone told you the truth.
Holy cow! If I have to sit through one more stupid joke, I’m going to scream! There are just so many of you telling bad jokes that it’s just overwhelming. And it’s not always a situation where the joke itself is bad, the joke is just being told badly.

Most people struggle a little bit with joke telling and there are a number of reasons for this.

The first is PRACTICE. Most jokes are told ‘off the cuff’. That’s the way jokes are supposed to sound. But in reality when we tell jokes, we need to be prepared.
Jokes need to be thought through thoroughly. Write them down, diagram them out.
But remember, no amount of writing and reading is going to make your jokes funny. Jokes need to be practiced. You’ve got to tell your jokes to someone, out loud.
Tell your jokes to your mother first. Your mom isn’t going to judge you too harshly, but she probably isn’t going to get your jokes right away either.
Then try the same joke with friends and other family members. Then tell your mother again. If you don’t have to explain your joke to your mother, you’re making progress.

The second problem with joke telling is the use of or lack of brevity. Most people drag out jokes WAY too long.
Get to the point.
Make your premise clear, and then SMACK! Hit us with the punch line.
Now, there are jokes that are built around the premise of a long, drawn out set up. These jokes require a huge degree of experience. But joke telling is like boxing. It would be better right now if you practiced, short, quick, hard hitting jokes.

The third problem with joke telling is self-control. People get too wound up when they tell a joke. They want to tell us when the funny part is coming. They want to emphasis how crazy the situation is.
Joke tellers need to trust their audience more. We get it! Or at least we will. Eventually.
Part of the problem of self-control is wanting to tell everybody that we’re going to tell a joke, and assuring everybody that it’s really funny, and then telling them when the funny part is coming.

So practice your jokes, and stay to the point.

In return, we’ll all laugh, and we won’t groan.

Here’s one you can practice:

A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.”
The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?”
The boy takes the quarters and leaves.
“What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!”
Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store.
“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?”
The boy licked his cone and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over!”